Pros: Lots of gaming choices with so many individual casinos
Cons: Lackluster customer service, ambiance, and clientele
If you’re looking for somewhere that you can spend anywhere from a few hours to a day or two and you want to gamble, then a trip down to Foxwoods Resort-Casino in southeastern Connecticut might just be in the cards for you. With several different themed casinos to choose from, along with hotels, restaurants, a spa and more, Foxwoods can keep just about anyone busy.
Where is Foxwoods?
The Foxwoods Resort-Casino is located in the very southeastern corner of Connecticut off of Interstate 95. From Boston, it is about a 2 hour drive, a little over an hour from Providence, RI and anywhere between 3 and 4 hours from New York City, depending on the traffic. Finding the casino isn’t too hard, signs are on the highway, and Foxwoods is about 8 miles off the highway. The route from the highway is signed well and shouldn’t prove to be a problem – just follow the line of cars! Though unlike Mohegan Sun, with it’s easy on and off highway access, you will be taking local roads on your way to Foxwoods.
For those of us who live in Massachusetts, Foxwoods is a quick day trip for us, thus it's a great escape when you want to gamble. For those of you slightly further away – Foxwoods makes for a long day-trip or an excellent overnight destination.
Foxwoods itself is huge, though when you are wandering around, you may not get that idea. It’s broken up into different sections and each of the casinos has a different theme and in of themselves, seem quite cozy. There are several different casinos that offer combinations of slot machines (the old fashioned reel kind and the newer video slot machines) and table games.
Some of the casinos only have tables and others only have slots and still others are combinations of the two. There are also high roller sections in some of the casinos along with a special casino located on the 25th floor of the Pequot Tower that is specifically for the high rollers.
Slot machines run from nickel denominations all the way up to hundreds of dollars, though you’re most likely to run across quarter machines. While most slots are the traditional kind where the coins are dispensed, Foxwoods is converting a number of their machines to the “cashless” types where a coupon prints out that can be used in other machines or cashed in at the cage.
You’ll be lucky to find lower-denomination tables – most I’ve seen start somewhere in the $20 range, though I’m told if you really look you can find a $10 table. Not being a big table gamer, I’ve shied away from them – but there is the typical selection of games you’d expect to find including blackjack, roulette, craps and several other card games. For the poker players, there’s a specific poker room.
For non-smokers there are two smaller casinos located downstairs that are smoke-free. Both only offer slot machines in various denominations.
All of the casinos can get very busy, as can Foxwoods in general, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. There have been times when I’ve had to circle around and around through the various lots and parking garages to find a spot, but I’ve always managed to find a spot eventually. There are three parking garages and several large surface lots surrounding the resort.
How are you treated on the gaming floors?
I don’t think Foxwoods will ever be known for its customer service, unless perhaps you are a high roller and then they have a special casino for you. On the regular gaming floors both slot attendants and the beverage waitresses are often few and far between.
I’ve waited 45 minutes for a slot attendant to come over to my slot machine, determine it’s out of coin and go and get a coin bag to fill it. That was after I had stopped several of the floor managers complaining that I was waiting for so long. Most of the employees aren’t rude, but it’s fairly obvious that they are there for a paycheck and nothing more.
You just might get dehydrated waiting for some of the beverage waitresses – who travel around fairly infrequently and who can take anywhere from a few minutes to 20 minutes to bring you back an ordered drink.
Beverage services on the casino floors are complimentary – so you can get any kind of drink you want, including alcohol for free. Though I believe in most of the alcoholic drinks, there’s just a touch of the stuff in there – and none of the drinks – beyond the soda and coffee, are particularly good. If you want a real cocktail or drink, head over to one of the bars.
Am I going to win?
When it comes to slot machines do any of us really have a chance?
Though on the whole, Foxwoods does a fairly good job of allowing players to win enough to continue to play without depleting their savings accounts. That’s not to say you won’t sit down and go through a ton of money and be guaranteed to win, but it does mean that if you play somewhat smart and move around, you should do okay.
This is especially true in the nickel slots. First, you don’t really spend that much when playing nickels, and two, you seem to be winning a lot more often on those nickel slots (though when you consider how much a hundred nickels really is, you realize how you can play so long on a $20 bill).
The table games are much the same – though in games like blackjack, it does depend more on you whether or not you’ll win. I’ve had friends drop several hundred dollars in less than an hour and I’ve known the same ones to walk away from the tables in a ½ an hour with several hundred in their pocket.
I will say though that with regards to the slot machines, there are significantly less big hits than you get at Mohegan Sun. I’ve been playing at both casinos for quite some time and while I’ve had two big hits at Foxwoods, I’ve had many at Mohegan Sun. At Foxwoods you’re more likely to win a little to keep going than to win a lot where you can go home real happy.
For anyone who is gambling, Foxwoods offers a “players club” called the Wampum Club that gives you the opportunity to earn points based on the amount of your play. I’ve never seen a hard and fast rule on this one, but I think that for ever $60 or so dollars you spend in a casino, you earn one point. The points can then be used throughout Foxwoods just like money – instead of paying cash, just present your player’s card, a picture identification and then sign for it.
The points are earned on all money gambled in the casinos, thus if you put in a 20 dollar bill and you win 40 dollars, but then play it all away, the player’s club looks at as 60 dollars spent, not just the original 20 dollars. Husband and wives or partners can sign up under one account and you can earn points together in a single account to get a higher balance.
When you sign up for the Wampum Club, you also become eligible for special offers and contests that Foxwoods has. Almost every month they have a different promotion where you swipe your card each time you are there and you stand a chance to go and play a special game where you can win. There’s also a monthly mailing, which depending on your average monthly play, offers complimentary bonuses for your next visit. In general, you will receive differing amounts of free wampum points, food comps, and discounted (or free) hotel rooms.
All of yours offers and bonuses from the Wampum Club can be managed online through Foxwoods’ website (www.foxwoods.com). The better the bonuses get, the more personal attention that you will get from Foxwoods, so if you want to be noticed, drop large amounts of money in the casinos and you will have them knocking on your door pampering you anyway that they can to get you to come back.
Clientele and Atmosphere?
Perhaps it stems from the lackluster attitude of the employees at Foxwoods, but in general I’ve always found that Foxwoods plays second fiddle in ambiance and clientele to Mohegan Sun.
I’ve gotten into parking spot battles with little old ladies in the garages, I’ve been pushed and shoved in the casinos and I’ve watched some of the scariest people in the buffet.
I don’t want to say its lower class or anything, but Foxwoods doesn’t strive to be a “nice” as some casinos. They are there for you to play – things are clean but not spectacular and the employees will take care of you, but not do anything special. With an attitude like this, it’s not hard to understand why it attracts the people it does – they aren’t so much concerned with the ambiance and atmosphere of their gambling experience, they just want to gamble.
What else do I find at Foxwoods?
There are three different hotels on the site, including Two Trees Inn, the Great Cedar Hotel and the Grand Pequot Hotel. The Two Trees in is more of a motel that is separated from the rest of the resort complex. The Great Cedar Hotel is located within Foxwoods and is located above Casinos, as in the Grand Pequot.
There are quite a restaurants at Foxwoods. The Veranda is a 24-hour restaurant that offers meals throughout the day at a decent price with a decent selection (and probably the restaurant that most people eat at because it is open 24 hours a day and is quick and easy). There’s also a steakhouse, two Chinese restaurants, a bistro, a buffet, a food court, snack bars in several of the casinos, a coffee shop, a couple of chain restaurants, and a more exclusive restaurant that is also located in the Pequot Tower. Most of the restaurants are casual affairs with a standard dress code and offer a variety of meals at different prices. Prices are a bit higher than the average restaurant and the quality is quite good. Reservations are a good idea at any of the nicer restaurants – especially on crowded days – otherwise you might find yourself eating at the buffet.
If you enjoy gambling and want a quick getaway, then a trip to Foxwoods is well worth your time.
With so many casinos you’re bound to find a slot machine or table game you enjoy and with all the other options available for guests, you can eat at a different restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if you tire of gambling, there’s plenty of other activities to keep you busy.
However if you enjoy some class with your gambling, I’d suggest heading over to Mohegan Sun, about 7 miles to the west. You’ll get better customer service, nicer facilities and a different kind of clientele.
But in reality, there is some wonder at Foxwoods and if you get the chance, you should go and experience it for yourself.
More Foxwoods Reviews
Foxwoods Grand Pequot Tower Hotel
Cedars Steak House